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Special Group in Coaching Psychology News

Mary Watts

Letter from the new Chair of the SGCP
A few days ago I learnt that I am the new Chair of the British Psychological Society’s Special Group in Coaching Psychology. I anticipate a challenging, exciting and interesting year ahead as I look forward to working with colleagues in the Special Group and beyond. I’m not new to the Special Group. I chaired the first Conference Committee, hosted a couple of conference round table discussions and have remained a member of the Conference Scientific Affairs Board. However, I have watched with admiration and gratitude the huge amount of good work done by members of the SGCP, in particular the Committee members and members of the various working groups.

The SGCP, like the Australian Psychological Society Interest Group in Coaching Psychology is still in its infancy, yet these two groups, both together and separately, have created a clear home for coaching psychology. What is great, however, is that this home, whilst supportive and encouraging, has provided a platform from which members can move out and practice in a vast array of settings that make a real difference to the lives of individuals, families and organisations. The development of coaching psychology theory, research and practice has gathered momentum and has impact as demonstrated by this and other related journals; the conferences, workshops and seminars being held and well subscribed to; the increasing numbers in the respective professional groups; and the increasing range of settings in which coaching psychologists are employed.

At the 2011 European Coaching Psychology Conference held at City University London in December, I sensed a very positive feeling of purpose and direction and I feel very lucky and privileged to be Chair of the Special Group at this time. It is very good news that the new BPS post-qualification register for SGCP members who are chartered psychologists has now been launched but we must continue to remember and address the needs of those psychologists who practice coaching but are not eligible to join this register.

To many of you I am still a stranger so I’ll use this opportunity to say a few words about myself. I’m a recently retired Professor Emeritus of City University having formerly been in the roles of Professor of Psychology, Pro-Vice Chancellor Learning and Teaching and Dean of the Health School. I’m currently an independent executive coach, coaching psychologist, supervisor and consultant. My grandchildren and my two young labradoodles are my relaxation and I’m currently devising a coaching and leadership approach to dog training - with an encouraging degree of success!

I guess that many demands will be made upon the SGCP Committee and its chair during the year and I hope that my various life experiences and associated learning will stand me in good stead and assist me in working constructively and effectively with colleagues.

It is some time since I was chair of a BPS committee - formerly I was chair of the Division of Counselling Psychology and the Psychotherapy Implementation Group. I still hold the work of these groups dear to my heart, but my work during the last 12 years has moved me firmly into coaching psychology and without the way of thinking that goes with this I believe that I could not have been effective in my work. I believe passionately that coaching psychology can make a real difference to the well being of individuals and society - a belief that I feel sure is shared by all of us involved with and committed to the development of coaching psychology.

I look forward to working closely with all of you and to identifying with you the priorities for the year ahead and working together towards their implementation.

Mary Watts

Interest Group in Coaching Psychology News

David Heap

In 2012 the Coaching Psychology Interest Group will be dominated by our hosting of the Second International Congress of Coaching Psychology. This will also be our biannual Coaching Psychology Symposium.

After the very successful Congress events in London in 2010, South Africa and Spain in 2011, we have taken on the challenge to meet and hopefully exceed the high standards set at these events.

The theme of our Congress event will be "The contribution of psychology to coaching". Our intent is to highlight the central role that psychology and psychologists play in the intellectual foundations and practice of coaching. We aim to emphasise the leadership role psychologists play in coaching in terms of ethics, research and evidence based practice.

The Congress will comprise a mixture of keynote presentations and practical workshops. The keynotes will be from international thought leaders in coaching such as Dr Lew Stern and Prof Stephen Palmer on their interpretation of the contribution of psychology to coaching.

These will be complemented by short practical workshops focused on developing skills and expertise in areas of coaching practice such as leadership, coaching in organisations, health and well being, sports and performance, education and life coaching.

We are hoping to attract a diverse range of delegates including not only coaching psychologists but also organisational, sports and performance, counselling, clinical, health and developmental psychologists as well as non-psychologist coaches, HR managers and even coaching clients. Anyone with an interest in the science and practice of coaching should be able to find something of value and interest.

There are more details on workshop topics and presenters, online registration and accommodation options at: www.groups.psychology.org.au/events/CPIGconference2012

We are greatly looking forward to welcoming delegates from all around the world as well as our own members.

As well as hosting the Congress in the first half of 2012, we will also be launching the outcome of our work late last year on the marketing of coaching psychologists. We will be publishing a Marketing Strategy Workbook for Coaching Psychologists which will include identification of ideal customer profiles, seven core marketing messages, building brand awareness and generating leads. We will be holding a webinar to help train members in developing their own marketing strategy and this will also be the subject of a workshop at the Congress.

In the second half of 2012 we will refocus our attention on accreditation for coaching psychologists. The BPS Special Group in Coaching Psychology has recently introduced a post-qualification register for its members. The International Society for Coaching Psychology has offered accreditation for its members as a central value offer for some years. Our hope is that in liaison with these and other coaching psychology associations from around the world, we are able to develop consistent international standards for accrediting coaching psychologists.

We in the National Committee of the APS Coaching Psychology Interest Group look forward to meeting many new colleagues and friends in May and to working closely with our members over the rest of the year.

Best regards,

David Heap
APS Interest Group Coaching Psychology


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